Nothing’s more frustrating than buying that latest, hyped-up tech toy and realizing another model would serve you better. Questions you forget to ask when purchasing your first tablet could be the difference between having your dream, does-it-all gadget and needing to put another dent in your pocket.
Here are a few thoughts to keep in mind to make sure you’re asking the right questions:
Different features for different uses
Not all people are built the same and neither are tablets, so choose the right options to suit your lifestyle. Here are some options to consider when making a purchase:
OS: There are various operating systems on different devices and they all have their merits and pitfalls. Easy to use and perfect for the app addict, the Apple iPad is a popular choice but it doesn’t multi-task. It also lacks Flash functions so if you’re used to browsing websites that have a lot of Flash code then this tablet may not be for you. The BlackBerry PlayBook on the other hand can run multiple applications but if you want to use email you’ll need to tether it to a BlackBerry smartphone…a challenge if you don’t already have one.
The world at your fingertips: You might be planning to use your tablet primarily for browsing. In that case you’ll want a model that can access the Internet anywhere. If you don’t want to pay for a data plan then getting a tablet that has Wi-Fi is important, all you’ll need is a hotspot.
Size Matters: The majority of tablets come with different memory options which can range from 16GB to 64GB. A key thing to remember, multimedia means memory so if you’re using your tablet as a multimedia source then you’ll need more memory. Consider the physical size of the unit as well. For maximum portability you’ll want to go for a 7-inch model. If you’re not a nimble typer or like to watch videos on bigger screens then opt for a 10-inch model.
Sometimes eagerness gets the best of us and we don’t always remember to properly set up our devices. Having your tablet fully set up will make sure you’re getting the most out of it. This includes:
- Calibration of the tablet to ensure the screen operates properly with your touch
- Personal account creation (either on the tablet, online, or both)
- Applying any required updates to the device that may have been released since it was manufactured
- Personal configuration, including WiFi setup, email setup and data synchronization
- Some require connecting to a computer to interact with specialized programs
- Configure interaction with other compatible devices
Best Buy’s Geek Squad offers device setup and tutorials for new tablets which can be a valuable investment if you need it to be functional and hassle-free as soon as possible.
Protect your tablet
You spent hundreds of dollars on your new toy, why risk damaging it? Get yourself a screen protector because tablet multi-touch screens are highly susceptible to scratches which can compromise its sensitivity to touch commands. A protective case can reduce wear-and-tear on your tablet and some are multi-purpose accessories, acting as a stand to assist in using the tablet. Another important consideration is a guarantee or service plan that will protect your new tablet. Guarantees of this nature will usually cover regular usage of the tablet and ensure that it is functioning the same way it was when you bought it at the end of the term.
Getting used to your tablet
Adapting to your new unit after purchase is vital. I recommend taking at least two or three weeks of regular use to get the right feel for your tablet. This is usually a crucial time when you have questions and figure out if that particular tablet is right for you. When you do have questions, Geek Squad’s 12-Month Online Tablet Support Service is available to answer them.
At the end of the day you’ll want a tablet to enhance the way you work and consume entertainment. If you’re not choosing a tablet for functions you’d actually use, you could be left with an expensive dust collector. Keeping these general tips in mind will ensure you get the most bang for your buck.